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    Friday, May 31, 2024

    Hospitality Industry: Nigeria Has Made Significant Strides, but There’s Room for Improvement — GM, Lagos Marriott Hotel, Aditya Chacko

    The General Manager, Lagos Marriott Hotel Ikeja, Aditya Chacko holds a degree in Hospitality Administration/Management from the famous  Taj Institute of Hotel Management- Aurangabad, India. With a robust skill set that includes Tourism, Yield Management, F&B Operations, Hotel Booking, F&B Management and more, Aditya Chacko’s extensive experience in the hospitality industry, combined with his visionary leadership and commitment to excellence, has helped the hotel to achieve exceptional success. In this interview with JIMOH BABATUNDE, he shares his thoughts on the hospitality industry, training, gastronomy and tourism. Here is an excerpt.

    Why a career in hospitality?

    Hospitality was always my number one choice. With having parents as hoteliers and growing within the industry, I had the opportunity to understand the ins and outs of a hotel operation. Seeing the teams at the hotel curating memorable experiences for guests inspired me to get into the industry. Seeing how leaders brought their teams together to achieve goals and create a fun and conducive work environment was also one of the reasons.

    If not in the industry, what would you have been doing?

    If I weren’t a hotelier, I would have pursued a career in the field of law. Particularly as a lawyer, my interest in the legal profession dates back to my teenage years.

    The law, politics and related subjects had always fascinated me, and I was drawn to their intricacies and complexities.

    The legal profession offers a diverse and dynamic field that presents exciting opportunities for growth and advancement and I always enjoy a sound argument.

    Assessment of the hospitality industry in Nigeria

    These are my assessment of the hospitality sector of the tourism industry in Nigeria. One is the growth in Tourism. Nigeria has seen an increase in domestic and international tourism, leading to a higher demand for hospitality services such as hotels, resorts, and restaurants.

    The country’s rich and diverse culinary traditions have contributed to the growth of the hospitality industry, with local cuisine attracting both domestic and international food enthusiasts.

    Investments in infrastructure development, including airports, roads, and attractions, have also contributed to the growth of the tourism and hospitality sectors.

    Challenges facing the hospitality industry

    While there are many high-quality hospitality establishments in Nigeria, there is still a need for consistent improvement in service standards, customer care, and professionalism across the industry.

    There is a need for further investment in manpower development and training to enhance the skills and professionalism of hospitality professionals, including hotel staff, tour guides, and chefs.

    In as much as there have been improvements in infrastructure, ongoing maintenance and development are necessary to ensure that tourism destinations and hospitality facilities remain attractive and accessible.

    Security challenges in certain regions of Nigeria have impacted the perception of safety among tourists and potential investors, affecting the growth of the hospitality industry in those areas.

    Overall, while the hospitality industry in Nigeria has made significant strides, there is still room for improvement in terms of service quality, skills development, infrastructure maintenance, and addressing security concerns. With strategic investments and focused efforts, Nigeria has the potential to further develop its hospitality industry and attract more visitors to the country.

    What makes Marriott Hotel Lagos different from others?

    The Lagos Marriott Hotel Ikeja stands out from other hotels in the city for several reasons like being part of an International Brand Standard.

    As part of the Marriott International portfolio, the Lagos Marriott Hotel Ikeja is known for its commitment to global hospitality standards, offering a high level of service, quality amenities, and a focus on guest satisfaction.

    The hotel features modern and well-maintained facilities, including spacious rooms, state-of-the-art meeting spaces, a fitness centre, a swimming pool, and diverse dining options, catering to the needs of both business and leisure travellers.

    The hotel’s location provides easy access to Murtala Muhammed International Airport, business districts, shopping centres, and other key attractions, making it an ideal choice for travellers seeking convenience and accessibility.

    Our hotel is known for its attentive and professional staff who strive to provide personalized service, ensuring that guests have a memorable and comfortable stay.

    The hotel stands out for its commitment to sustainability and environmental responsibility, implementing initiatives to reduce its environmental impact and promote eco-friendly practices.

    Being part of the Marriott Bonvoy loyalty program, the hotel offers benefits and rewards to frequent guests, enhancing the overall guest experience and encouraging customer loyalty.

    These factors contribute to setting the Lagos Marriott Hotel Ikeja apart from other hotels in the city, making it a preferred choice for travellers seeking a combination of international standards, modern amenities, and exceptional service.

    Which Nigerian food do you like?

    Nigerian cuisine is one of many variations and flavours. Some of my favourites of what I have tried so far would have to be the Jollof rice, the suya and pounded yam and eforiro.

    How do you relax?

    Outside of work, relaxation for me is ideal time well spent with my wife and son. We spend quality time together or we are out and about exploring all that Lagos has to offer or else travelling and exploring new destinations.

    I do spend time on the golf course as well as being a newbie to the game who is still learning, but it helps to keep things calm and learn the art of patience.

    Favourite destination in Nigeria and outside

    In Nigeria, I love Lagos as a city. Lagos is a vibrant and dynamic city with a lot to offer, making it a favourite destination for many travellers. It is a city which is culturally diverse with a mix of traditional and modern influences.

    It has an amazing culinary scene and spectacular entertainment and nightlife.

    Outside of Nigeria, Rwanda is indeed a favourite and inspirational place for many reasons. One of the fascinating things about Rwanda is its breathtaking scenery, which includes hills, mountains, forests, and parks.

    Tourists can enjoy hiking or trekking and experiencing the magnificent landscapes of Rwanda, wildlife species, and the unique culture of the country’s people. Rwanda is home to gorillas, golden monkeys, elephants, and many other wild animals that make it a top destination for tourists.

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